Why Did Emma Leave?

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Allen
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Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Allen » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:15 pm

I know this question has been asked before. I have changed my mind about this many times. It's one of the questions in this case that I can't seem to settle on an answer for because there doesn't seem to be one. Why do you think that Emma left Maplecroft never to return? Anyone have any ideas? I know it was after talking to Reverend Buck that Emma decided to finally leave. I've read somewhere that the people of Fall River didn't hold either Reverend Buck or Jubb in very high regard. After all those years of mothering Lizzie, what drove Emma over the edge?
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Franz » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:23 pm

I am curious to know it either.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:38 am

I have also wondered, and have come up with some possibilities:

1. She caught Lizzie drinking and/or smoking. This is supported by the fact that Lizzie was hanging out with a theater troupe, and I'm sure their parties included both activities.

2. She found out Lizzie was having an affair with Nance O'Neill (from the same above theater troupe).

3. She found out that Lizzie had, indeed, killed Andrew and Abby.

Whatever the reason was, it had to be severe enough and serious enough so that Emma never spoke to her sister again. AND she discussed it with a man of the cloth, who agreed with her that she had no choice but to move out. That tells me it was a serious sin.

Thoughts?

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:11 am

NancyDrew wrote:I have also wondered, and have come up with some possibilities:

1. She caught Lizzie drinking and/or smoking. This is supported by the fact that Lizzie was hanging out with a theater troupe, and I'm sure their parties included both activities.

2. She found out Lizzie was having an affair with Nance O'Neill (from the same above theater troupe).

3. She found out that Lizzie had, indeed, killed Andrew and Abby.

Whatever the reason was, it had to be severe enough and serious enough so that Emma never spoke to her sister again. AND she discussed it with a man of the cloth, who agreed with her that she had no choice but to move out. That tells me it was a serious sin. Thoughts?

It's a fascinating question indeed. I agree that it was most likely one of the 3 possibilities that you enumerated, Nancy. In order for it to be number 1 (smoking/drinking), Emma would have had to be a very rigid moralist. It would mean that Emma would have gone to the minister to tell him that she was having a crisis of conscience because she caught her grown sister smoking and or drinking. This was the early 20th Century, and although morals, especially among religious people, were much more severe than they are now, I don't think Emma would have gone to the minister just because her sister or her sister's friends, had smoked or had a drink. She would have complained directly to Lizzie, I think.

Now let's consider the 2nd possibility, an affair with Ms. O'Neill. No doubt that would have been terribly shocking to Emma, but I think she would have been too embarrassed about it to discuss it with a minister. Emma would have found it difficult to discuss such a thing with any man I think. And as strange as it may sound, Emma's pride would have been involved. In other words, she could never tell a third party that her sister had involved herself in a lesbian affair. Emma's embarrassment would have just been too great.

I lean toward number 3. I think that enough years had passed, and Lizzie was so tired of keeping silent, that she finally confessed to her sister. She may have even tried to justify the killings, tried to "make Emma understand", so to speak. Of course, this is just speculation on my part, partly fueled by the fact that I think Lizzie was guilty.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Allen » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:52 pm

NancyDrew wrote:I have also wondered, and have come up with some possibilities:

1. She caught Lizzie drinking and/or smoking. This is supported by the fact that Lizzie was hanging out with a theater troupe, and I'm sure their parties included both activities.

2. She found out Lizzie was having an affair with Nance O'Neill (from the same above theater troupe).

3. She found out that Lizzie had, indeed, killed Andrew and Abby.

Whatever the reason was, it had to be severe enough and serious enough so that Emma never spoke to her sister again. AND she discussed it with a man of the cloth, who agreed with her that she had no choice but to move out. That tells me it was a serious sin.

Thoughts?
Good thoughts Nancydrew. I'm also curious, if Emma had found out that Lizzie killed Abby and Andrew, would she have shared that secret with anyone do you think? Maybe she confessed it to Reverend Buck?
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by PossumPie » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:37 pm

I tend to think Emma just got tired of Lizzie's 'wild life' remember they had lived conservative quiet lives, then when unencumbered by Father, Lizzie let loose. That DOESN'T preclude number 3, but I feel Emma knew long before she left Lizzie...
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by PattiG157 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:36 pm

I think all of those are excellent possibilities. I have read, however, that Emma maintained that Lizzie was innocent of the crime until the day she died so I personally don't believe she left because of the murders. I personally think it had something to do with Lizzie's partying with the actors' troupe, and/or her alleged affair with Nance O'Neill.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Aamartin » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:15 am

Emma doesn't seem the type to take her promise to her dying mother to protect Lizzie lightly. I don't necessarily think she would ever say she thought or found out Lizzie was guilty.

Why wasn't she more forthcoming-- she had to know her departure would fuel more speculation.

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:40 am

This is from a post from mbhenty, a member who left (sad) and posted this in 2012:

"Emma must have been one very unsettled and odd individual.

She was a bit of a vagabond, a wanderer or nomad of sorts.

One could make the case that she was "one strange chick".

After she left Maplecroft, (1905)it is assumed she lived with the Bucks for a while.

There were newspaper accounts that mentioned that in 1905 she was living in Fairhaven also. (I would need to research that) (taken from memory)

From 1909 to 1913 Emma lived with her cousin Preston Gardner, on the east side of Providence, R.I.

Some time in 1913 or 1914 to 1918 she lived with the Bucks. That was for 4 to 5 years.

By 1919 she was living at the Minden in Providence. (An apartment building) (PHOTOS BELOW)

And by the 20s she was staying in Newmarket N.H. with friends. But probably retained her Providence apartment.

Makes me wonder whether it was Lizzie who took care of Emma and not the other way around.

It also bids the question..............Was Emma Borden capable of living alone? Was she incompetent in some way?

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:09 am

One more theory:

Perhaps Emma found out that Lizzie was having an affair with her chauffeur?

I'd like to cite this article I found: http://phayemuss.wordpress.com/2010/09/ ... o-adultry/

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:03 am

Sorry for posting multiple times in a row, folks. I'm doing it so that if someone wishes to respond to something I've written, it's easier to do so.

Darrowfan, I'd like to respond to your post:

!. Smoking/drinking: You speculate that Emma wouldn't have discussed these offenses with her minister, but would have complained to Lizzie directly. I think both are possible. I've read (someplace) that Emma moved out of Maplecroft following a party that Lizzie threw for her theater friends. If this not true, someone please correct me. Let's suppose---again, I have no proof of ANY of this...just brain storming possibilities----that the party Lizzie hosted included activities Emma found shocking and sinful. I can think of several: sex, drugs, smoking, drinking, music (the wrong kind..."rag" ala Scott Joplin, was popular in 1905

Darrowfan, you wrote "I don't think Emma would have gone to the minister just because her sister or her sister's friends, had smoked or had a drink." Hmmm...I must respectfully disagree with you on this point. We don't know the true nature of Emma's relationship with Reverend Buck. It's possible she ran to him with every little thing. Perhaps she was had a VERY rigid moral code, and drinking alcohol and/or smoking might have been seen by her as a big deal.

I should have mentioned this in my first post on this thread, but what if Lizzie's friends were also using drugs? Cocaine was popular in 1905 (http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/ ... story.html. Especially among musicians and actors...(gee, how interesting that this is still the case!). It was an ingredient in coca-cola, and was also sniffed by people who enjoyed the stimulating and euphoric effects (a tad off-topic:

I think it is quite possible that Emma complained loudly to Lizzie regarding her disapproval of these activities, and when Lizzie refused to cut off ties with her new reckless friends, she took her concerns to Rev. Buck, who warned her to remove herself from the situation. (1 Corinthian 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.)

It might seems to us, in the 21st century, as modern day feminists, that drinking and/or smoking isn't that great a transgression. But this was a woman who, in all likelihood, never had relations with a man, never touched alcohol (except MAYBE for holy communion) and obviously took her spirituality quite seriously. She might have been concerned for her own salvation, and worried that just being around sinners risked the final destination of her soul.

I think it is also important to remember that we know the whole story...Emma and Lizzie never spoke again. AT the time, however, she might have only meant to "take a break" from her younger sister. It's possible she didn't initially intend for the separation to be permanent.

That last line touches a raw nerve in me. Let me explain: On September 21, 2013, my cousin, and closest friend died. She fell down a flight of stairs and broke her neck; fell into a coma three days later and then another 3 days later, she passed away.

This was a woman with whom I shared a deeply personal relationship all my life (our fathers were brothers and neither of us had sisters). However, she had a drinking problem; a severe one. It was always an issue between us, but I tolerated it until 4 years ago. At that point, it was impossible for me to ignore the situation. She had been out of work for over 2 years (despite my offer to work for me---I own a small company), she was drinking in the morning and would call me at 8 am, completely intoxicated, while I was trying to get dressed for work, her husband had left her (over her drinking, of course) and I feared for her health. One day, the last time I saw her, she was glassy eyed and shaking (in DT's, I now know) sitting alone in her apartment. Her rent was overdue, utilities had been shut off and she had no money.

I bought her a bagful of groceries, gave her $10 to put enough gas in her car to drive to her mothers, and I told her candidly that if she didn't go to rehab, I would no longer have a relationship with her. She took the ten bucks, bought a box of wine, and we never spoke again.

I kept tabs on her through mutual friends. She was living with a guy (also a drinker) nearby and her health continued to get worse. BUT. And this is the important part...I always thought we would reconcile at some point. I thought there was more time.

I was wrong, and the guilt I've been wrestling with has been overwhelming. When she had her accident, she lacerated her liver, and it was already so swollen and damaged that it started a chain reaction of organ failure that ultimately resulted in her death.

Maybe this was the case with Emma and Lizzie. Like me, she might have comforted herself with the thought "we will speak again...some day." But that some day never happened.

Sorry for getting into personal issues, but I couldn't help but draw some similarities, having had a very personal experience with breaking away from a loved one...someone I always introduced as "my sister."

Okay...I have to stop for now, but I"m going to post this, and come back onto the Forum later. I have new puppy (yay!) and we have a visit to the Vet for her 2nd round of shots....see you all in a bit..
Last edited by NancyDrew on Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:13 am

Back from the vets...puppy is doing fine.

I have a question. It is just assumed that after Emma left Maplecroft in 1905, she and Lizzie never spoke again. How do we know this is true? Couldn't they have telephoned each other? Written letters that were later destroyed?

Does anyone know?

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Harry » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:38 pm

That's a sad story, NancyDrew. Tough to lose a friend that way.

The owner of that site you cited in another thread is NOT welcome on this forum for reasons well known to the old timers on this forum. For years she has attempted to penetrate this forum using different names. She has shadowed Stefani for years and spread her jealousy and hate. Enough said and back to the topic.

Rev. Buck died in March 1903. The 1913 article (the interview with Emma) in the Boston Post says it was Rev. Buck who advised her to leave.

Emma left Maplecroft in June 1905.

The party for Nance was in 1905. I can't seem to find the exact date.

So Emma must have been considering moving during that 2 year gap. The party being the last straw.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Franz » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:30 pm

Harry wrote: ...
Rev. Buck died in March 1903. The 1913 article (the interview with Emma) in the Boston Post says it was Rev. Buck who advised her to leave.

Emma left Maplecroft in June 1905.

The party for Nance was in 1905. I can't seem to find the exact date.

So Emma must have been considering moving during that 2 year gap. The party being the last straw.
Thank you Harry.

If so, I think that we could exclude with a relative certainty the point 3 stated by NancyDrew: "She found out that Lizzie had, indeed, killed Andrew and Abby". I hardly believe that Emma would have lived 2 years with the murderess of her father. So the motive of her moving should be the point 1 or 2, or the two toghther, or some similary reasons concerning Lizzie's moral (from the point of view of Emma).
"Mr. Morse, when you were told for the THIRD time that Abby and Andrew had been killed, why did you pronounce a "WHAT" to Mrs. Churchill? Why?"

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:39 pm

NancyDrew wrote:Sorry for posting multiple times in a row, folks. I'm doing it so that if someone wishes to respond to something I've written, it's easier to do so.

Darrowfan, I'd like to respond to your post:

!. Smoking/drinking: You speculate that Emma wouldn't have discussed these offenses with her minister, but would have complained to Lizzie directly. I think both are possible. I've read (someplace) that Emma moved out of Maplecroft following a party that Lizzie threw for her theater friends. If this not true, someone please correct me. Let's suppose---again, I have no proof of ANY of this...just brain storming possibilities----that the party Lizzie hosted included activities Emma found shocking and sinful. I can think of several: sex, drugs, smoking, drinking, music (the wrong kind..."rag" ala Scott Joplin, was popular in 1905

Darrowfan, you wrote "I don't think Emma would have gone to the minister just because her sister or her sister's friends, had smoked or had a drink." Hmmm...I must respectfully disagree with you on this point. We don't know the true nature of Emma's relationship with Reverend Buck. It's possible she ran to him with every little thing. Perhaps she was had a VERY rigid moral code, and drinking alcohol and/or smoking might have been seen by her as a big deal.

I should have mentioned this in my first post on this thread, but what if Lizzie's friends were also using drugs? Cocaine was popular in 1905 (http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/ ... story.html. Especially among musicians and actors...(gee, how interesting that this is still the case!). It was an ingredient in coca-cola, and was also sniffed by people who enjoyed the stimulating and euphoric effects (a tad off-topic: I tried cocaine exactly ONCE, in college over 30 years ago, and I HATED it. No euphoria here...it made my heart race, my legs shake, and I was filled with feelings of anxiety and dread. Powered panic. It was such a horrible experience that I can recall the effects as if they just happened. I vividly remember thinking "WHY would anyone take this drug deliberately?" But I digress...)

I think it is quite possible that Emma complained loudly to Lizzie regarding her disapproval of these activities, and when Lizzie refused to cut off ties with her new reckless friends, she took her concerns to Rev. Buck, who warned her to remove herself from the situation. (1 Corinthian 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.)

It might seems to us, in the 21st century, as modern day feminists, that drinking and/or smoking isn't that great a transgression. But this was a woman who, in all likelihood, never had relations with a man, never touched alcohol (except MAYBE for holy communion) and obviously took her spirituality quite seriously. She might have been concerned for her own salvation, and worried that just being around sinners risked the final destination of her soul.

I think it is also important to remember that we know the whole story...Emma and Lizzie never spoke again. AT the time, however, she might have only meant to "take a break" from her younger sister. It's possible she didn't initially intend for the separation to be permanent.

That last line touches a raw nerve in me. Let me explain: On September 21, 2013, my cousin, and closest friend died. She fell down a flight of stairs and broke her neck; fell into a coma three days later and then another 3 days later, she passed away.

This was a woman with whom I shared a deeply personal relationship all my life (our fathers were brothers and neither of us had sisters). However, she had a drinking problem; a severe one. It was always an issue between us, but I tolerated it until 4 years ago. At that point, it was impossible for me to ignore the situation. She had been out of work for over 2 years (despite my offer to work for me---I own a small company), she was drinking in the morning and would call me at 8 am, completely intoxicated, while I was trying to get dressed for work, her husband had left her (over her drinking, of course) and I feared for her health. One day, the last time I saw her, she was glassy eyed and shaking (in DT's, I now know) sitting alone in her apartment. Her rent was overdue, utilities had been shut off and she had no money.

I bought her a bagful of groceries, gave her $10 to put enough gas in her car to drive to her mothers, and I told her candidly that if she didn't go to rehab, I would no longer have a relationship with her. She took the ten bucks, bought a box of wine, and we never spoke again.

I kept tabs on her through mutual friends. She was living with a guy (also a drinker) nearby and her health continued to get worse. BUT. And this is the important part...I always thought we would reconcile at some point. I thought there was more time.

I was wrong, and the guilt I've been wrestling with has been overwhelming. When she had her accident, she lacerated her liver, and it was already so swollen and damaged that it started a chain reaction of organ failure that ultimately resulted in her death.

Maybe this was the case with Emma and Lizzie. Like me, she might have comforted herself with the thought "we will speak again...some day." But that some day never happened.

Sorry for getting into personal issues, but I couldn't help but draw some similarities, having had a very personal experience with breaking away from a loved one...someone I always introduced as "my sister."

Okay...I have to stop for now, but I"m going to post this, and come back onto the Forum later. I have new puppy (yay!) and we have a visit to the Vet for her 2nd round of shots....see you all in a bit..

Nancy, thank you for sharing that painful story from your personal history. It does provide some perspective when considering the cause of the Lizzie/Emma split. I think I let my certainty about Lizzie's guilt color my thinking. I tend to see Lizzie only as "the murder suspect" and Emma only as "the suspect's sister"; I tend to forget that they were also mortal women, human beings with many dimensions, just like everyone else. Thanks for reminding me, and for giving me some food for thought.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:44 pm

Harry wrote:That's a sad story, NancyDrew. Tough to lose a friend that way.

The owner of that site you cited in another thread is NOT welcome on this forum for reasons well known to the old timers on this forum. For years she has attempted to penetrate this forum using different names. She has shadowed Stefani for years and spread her jealousy and hate. Enough said and back to the topic.

Rev. Buck died in March 1903. The 1913 article (the interview with Emma) in the Boston Post says it was Rev. Buck who advised her to leave.

Emma left Maplecroft in June 1905.

The party for Nance was in 1905. I can't seem to find the exact date.

So Emma must have been considering moving during that 2 year gap. The party being the last straw.
Thanks, Harry, for coming through with the facts, as always. Your knowledge of exact dates in the Borden history is very helpful in putting the whole strange and tragic story together.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:59 am

Haryy: Sorry, I didn't know about the rivals of this particular board. Yikes, that sounds awful. There is no reason for jealousy and hate in this world. Shame on whomever spreads it.

So the good Reverend died in 1903, huh? 2 years before Emma left Maplecroft. Do you know who replaced him? Did Emma forge a new relationship with a different minister?

Thanks for the info.

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by PossumPie » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:18 am

I've often thought that Emma would HAVE to know of Lizzie's guilt, and by staying with her, gives passive condoning to it. BUT, the possibility of a nagging feeling her sister did it, but never really wanting to know could exist also. Like Nancy Drew's personal account shows, the breakup of close familial relationships happens after one or the other member has tried literally everything to make it work. If it had just been the late night parties, Emma could have bought a house down the street and visited "Lizbeth" during quieter hours. No, for her to leave town, something major split between them. Emma came to the realization that her sister killed her father, or Lizzie finally told her, or something else major. If we assume Lizzie's innocence, there must have been something not related to the murders then...whispers of lesbian tenancies? In that day, that would be majorly scandalous.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Franz » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:32 pm

NancyDrew wrote:...
She caught Lizzie drinking and/or smoking.
...
A woman's smoking or drinking was it so badly regarded at that time? If so, I am thinking... You know what I mean...
"Mr. Morse, when you were told for the THIRD time that Abby and Andrew had been killed, why did you pronounce a "WHAT" to Mrs. Churchill? Why?"

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Allen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:25 am

It's interesting that Emma stuck it out for about 12 years before she couldn't take it anymore and left. If she confided in reverend Buck, and he died in 1903, that means she also chose to stick it out another few years before making the final leap. A lot of good thoughts about possible reasons have been given. I would like to have been a fly on the wall at Maplecroft. Emma never did live alone, that's true. But neither did John Morse. I think maybe she just enjoyed the company to actually living alone.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Allen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:37 am

Sorry moved this post to the proper thread.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:39 pm

Let me just say that I'm really glad you are back, Allen.

Regarding Emma's departure, I thought it might be helpful to list the known facts:

Fact 1: Emma and Lizzie bought a large expensive house together 2 weeks after Lizzie's acquittal. It was in a wealthy part of town.
Fact 2: They lived in that house together for 12 years.
Fact 3: Emma was 10 years older than Lizzie.
Fact 4: Emma was motherly towards Lizzie. She was quoted as calling herself "the little mother." She supposedly promised her biological mother to take care of her
younger sister. She visited Lizzie often while Lizzie was in jail.
Fact 5: Emma vigorously maintained Lizzie's innocence: before, during, and after the trial.
Fact 6: Lizzie struck up a friendship with a bunch of actors. One in particular, Nance O'Neill, became especially close to Lisbeth. I've read she was the recipient of
gifts.
Fact 7: Lizzie had a large party (perhaps more than one) for the acting troupe.
Fact 8: Emma said publicly that the living situation with Lizzie had become "unbearable."
Fact 9: Emma said she tolerated it "for as long as she could."
Fact 10: Emma confided her stresses about the situation to Reverend Buck, and supposedly, he recommended she leave and live elsewhere.
Fact 11: She stayed 2 years AFTER the good Reverend made that recommendation.
Fact 12: Emma moved around a lot; settled in Newmarket, NH, and died shortly after LIzzie (VERY shortly...as in days.)
Fact 13: There is no known correspondence between the sisters after Emma left. No letters, telegraphs, visits, reunions, nothing.

If I've made a mistake anywhere here, please someone correct me.

Here is what stands out to me, after looking at this list. If Emma confided in Reverend Buck about the "intolerable situation" at the house, let us consider what the good Reverend's reaction might have been. But first, here is some info I found:

EDWIN A. BUCK, son of James and Lydia (Treat) Buck, was born May 31, 1824,
in Bucksport, Me. He graduated in 1849 from Yale College, New Haven, Conn.,
and in 1852 from the Theological Seminary, Bangor, Me.
After supplying the pulpit in Pownal, Me., one year, he was ordained, and
installed May 31, 1854, pastor of the First Congregational Church in Bethel,
Me. After a, ministry of some four years he was installed, June, 1858, pastor
of the Congregational Church in Slatersville, R. I., where he remained nearly
ten years, and was then called, November, 1867, to the work of a city
missionary by the Central Church of Fall River, Mass
The Rev. Mr. Buck married, Jan. 19, 1853, Rebecca Elmira
Walker, daughter of Dean and Rebecca (Wright) Walker, of Medway, now Millis,
Mass. Mrs. Buck died Feb. 16, 1877. There were seven children: Eliza Harding,
born Nov. 12, 1853; Alice Lydia, born Aug. 6, 1855; Mary Rebecca, born July
18, 1857; N. Eveline, born March 2, 1860; Isabella Howard, born July 15, 1864,
died Jan. 26, 1867; Augustus Walker, born Feb. 7, 1866; Clara Fay, born Dec.
29, 1868.

Is it not the job of a minister to help members of his parish? To heal them? To SAVE them? Is not a minister in charge of the SOULS of his parish, and in making sure that he does whatever he can to ensure those souls have eternal life?

I'm going to answer my own questions: YES. I've known quite a few ministers up close. My first husband's father was a Lutheran minister. My own Godfather is an Episcopal priest (they can marry.) Reverend Buck was a Congregationalist, but in my opinion, the differences in the different Protestant denominations aren't that big a deal. They all believe in salvation through Jesus Christ.

What I find curious is that Reverend Buck didn't try and "fix" whatever the problem was at Maplecroft---whatever was so "intolerable" that Emma felt she had to move out. I would think that if Lizzie were engaging in some sort of behavior that were viewed as sinful (ie smoking, drinking, drugs, sex, etc) that he would have implored Emma to try and save her younger sisters soul by either testifying to her, (about the perils of Hell and the redemptive qualities of confessing) or having Rev. Buck counsel Lizzie himself. Instead he told her to flee? Not very 'Christly' of him, me thinks.

Unless, of course, whatever was going on had already taken place, and couldn't be undone or discontinued. . Further, if Lizzie refused to show remorse, ask forgiveness, etc, then I would think that would be cause for Mr. Buck to tell Emma "there is no hope for Lizzie...remove yourself from that house and do not have any more to do with her."

Some here have speculated that smoking & drinking aren't bad enough to warrant Emma's reaction. But murder would be. We all assume that means the murders of Andrew and Abby. But what if Emma found out Lizzie had an illegal abortion? And that, furthermore, she wasn't sorry about it? I could see the puritanical Emma having a full-on freak out about that.

Thoughts?

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:00 pm

Thank you, Nancy for both the Emma/Lizzie timeline info, and for the background information on Rev. Buck. Your theory about the possible abortion is plausible, but it seems to me that quite a few people would have known about it (through gossip, etc.) and it would have become common knowledge.

I can't help but think that the split between the sisters had something to do with that awful morning in 1892. The reason I feel this way is because the Emma/Lizzie split is just as mysterious as the Borden murders themselves. I know this isn't very scientific, but I just have a "gut feeling" that the two are somehow connected. I get the sense that whatever happened on August 4, 1892, somehow reached forward to 1905 and drove Emma out of the house she shared with Lizzie.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Allen » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:06 am

While I'm not agreeing that Lizzie had an abortion they were illegal and thought to be a mortal sin during that time period. During the nineteenth century abortions were not illegal until around 1870. Up until then abortions were even advertised as a way to terminate unwanted pregnancy. Many women used abortion as a way to control the size of their families. For economic reasons and because life was very taxing for a woman with many children. There were many methods for abortion which included taking herbs (abortifacients), certain poisons, and surgery. And many crazy ideas that did not work such as soaking in hot baths and rubbing gun powder on a woman's breasts. Contraception was not something that was used. It was thought to be unhealthy for men to practice abstinence as a method of birth control. So there were unwanted pregnancies as a result even in a marriage. While there is evidence that abortions were still conducted in secret, this would not have been something you let become common knowledge.

There are two possible reasons that have stood out for me. That Emma knew Lizzie killed Andrew and Abby, and that Emma couldn't stand living with Lizzie's live style.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by PattiG157 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:30 am

I agree with you, Allen. I think Emma left because she found out Lizzie was guilty of the murders OR because of Lizzie's lifestyle -- and my vote goes with the second option. Call me crazy (many people have!) but I still think Lizzie was innocent.

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:12 am

It is a really fascinating subject. I wonder how much research has been done to try to find out the reason for the split. Has anyone ever uncovered any correspondence, diaries, etc that even hinted at the reason?
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Harry » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:46 pm

Here's a newspaper article on the separation. Alas, I don't know the name of the paper. It says the Call and I assume it's a 1905 article. There was a paper at the time The San Fransisco Call. It's kind of blurry and hard to read. When I click on the article twice it magnifies. Still we don't for sure it was the cause. Oh, for Lizzie's diary! Assuming she had one. :study:
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Harry » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:00 pm

Replying to my previous post. Found the source of the article I posted on the separation.

It was the San Fransisco Call, dated Wednesday, June 7, 1905.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:08 pm

Harry wrote:Replying to my previous post. Found the source of the article I posted on the separation.

It was the San Fransisco Call, dated Wednesday, June 7, 1905.

Harry, I am astounded by how much you know about this case. Mind telling me where you were on August 4, 1892?

(Just kidding)
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:45 pm

Just finished reading the article, Harry. A couple of things jumped out at me.

One was the statement "It was impossible to get a statement from Lizzie Borden..." I imagined Hosea Knowlton reading that sentence and thinking, "Tell me about it."

The other thing that struck me was the sentence "Emma Borden had several times reproved her sister for her frivolity." I wonder if Emma "reproved" Lizzie just on general principal, or if she felt that Lizzie should be more reserved in light of the "close call" she had at trial in 1893. In other words, was Emma thinking, "Lizzie, you came very close to hanging a few years ago; you need to keep a low profile for the rest of your life."
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Franz » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:53 pm

Harry, thank you for your post and for your kindness and patience with new members of the forum like me.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:06 pm

Wow. I think I've arrived at this conclusion (and the article by Harry helped...thanks, Harry..you're a very cool dude.) Lizzie was acting in a way that Emma didn't approve of. She was hanging around with theater folk, throwing parties, probably imbibing in demon rum, and possibly smooching a dame. Loose morals and a crabby old woman don't mix.

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:44 pm

NancyDrew wrote:Wow. I think I've arrived at this conclusion (and the article by Harry helped...thanks, Harry..you're a very cool dude.) Lizzie was acting in a way that Emma didn't approve of. She was hanging around with theater folk, throwing parties, probably imbibing in demon rum, and possibly smooching a dame. Loose morals and a crabby old woman don't mix.
Well, Nancy, it's true that the article Harry provided does indicate that the split was caused by something less sinister than the events of 8/4/92. But still, I can't get past the fact that Emma left, and never communicated with Lizzie again. (at least, so far as we know)

Lizzie was Emma's baby sister, and I think the lifetime bond between them was very strong. Emma was a surrogate mother to Lizzie, and probably doted on her to an extreme degree. The point I'm making is that whatever caused Emma to leave, to in effect "disown" Lizzie, must have been something "unforgivable". I don't see any of the transgressions you mentioned falling into that category.

But of course, I didn't know Emma. She may have been such a straight-laced person that seeing Lizzie "party" with a bunch of bohemian types may have pushed her over the edge. It's a really frustrating question.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:43 am

Darrowfan:

I know about lifetime bonds...I just had one broken. My younger cousin and I were practically raised together. I loved her so much I would have given her a kidney. But when her drinking became so out of control, and she refused to listen to me, the rift between us grew wider and wider, until one day, the bond broke.

Never in a million years did I think she would die before I could speak to her again. I knew where she lived...only a few miles from me. Just knowing she was there felt good; she was close. That may have been how Emma felt about Lizzie.

People are strange...we forget how fast time passes, how quickly life flies by. We are never guaranteed even one more day. Emma may have lost sight of that.

Then, of course, there is the possibility that they DID communicate...after all, we don't have access to everything. There could have been private messages, phone calls, cards, who knows?

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:45 am

One more point: Emma and Lizzie lived together for 12 years. Day in, day out, almost like a marriage.

Then Lizzie brings in a new set of faces, and one in particular: Nance O'Neill. Emma might have felt betrayed. Replaced. That kind of hurt can run deep.

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:54 am

NancyDrew wrote:One more point: Emma and Lizzie lived together for 12 years. Day in, day out, almost like a marriage.

Then Lizzie brings in a new set of faces, and one in particular: Nance O'Neill. Emma might have felt betrayed. Replaced. That kind of hurt can run deep.

You struck on something very interesting there, Nancy. I have always felt that if Lizzie did commit the crimes, it was because she felt that Andrew had betrayed Emma, by "replacing her" with Abby. Not romantically, or course, but in the sense that Emma had been like a mother to Lizzie. Also, Emma probably served, however briefly, as "lady of the house" until Abby arrived on the scene. How ironic it would be if Lizzie committed the killings due to a sense of betrayal and replacement, and then Emma left Lizzie for essentially the same reason.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by PossumPie » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:07 pm

Darrowfan wrote:
NancyDrew wrote:One more point: Emma and Lizzie lived together for 12 years. Day in, day out, almost like a marriage.

Then Lizzie brings in a new set of faces, and one in particular: Nance O'Neill. Emma might have felt betrayed. Replaced. That kind of hurt can run deep.

You struck on something very interesting there, Nancy. I have always felt that if Lizzie did commit the crimes, it was because she felt that Andrew had betrayed Emma, by "replacing her" with Abby. Not romantically, or course, but in the sense that Emma had been like a mother to Lizzie. Also, Emma probably served, however briefly, as "lady of the house" until Abby arrived on the scene. How ironic it would be if Lizzie committed the killings due to a sense of betrayal and replacement, and then Emma left Lizzie for essentially the same reason.
Bear in mind Lizzie was less than 3 years old when her mom died, Emma was 11 or 12. Abby was the only 'mother' Lizzie knew. Father remarried quickly, less than 3 years after his first wife's death, Lizzie was about 5 years old. Lizzie was not emotionally close to Abby at all. I'm fairly sure that Father put responsibilities on Emma after his first wife's death, 11 or 12 is old enough to make meals, sew, etc.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:11 pm

Darrowfan: But I thought Lizzie was very smalll--2 yrs I think---when Abby came on the scene. I find it unusual that Emma never called her 'mother' but 'Abby.' I would have thought that went against the overriding Victorian code/etiquette of the times. Lizzie DID call Abby mother up until her father put some property in Abby's name..or her sister's name (Mrs. Whitehead.) THAT was the rift that caused Lizzie to turn cold to her step mom.

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Franz » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:24 pm

NancyDrew wrote:... Lizzie DID call Abby mother up until her father put some property in Abby's name..or her sister's name (Mrs. Whitehead.) THAT was the rift that caused Lizzie to turn cold to her step mom.
Yes, but this occurred five years before the murder and Andrew had managed to satisfay well the sisters. If in 1892 Lizzie did kill her stepmother and then her father for money, it should have happened again something concerning the money and should have had much more importance. But so far as I know, there is just no evidence to support this alleged motive of Lizzie.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Darrowfan » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:22 pm

Franz wrote:
NancyDrew wrote:... Lizzie DID call Abby mother up until her father put some property in Abby's name..or her sister's name (Mrs. Whitehead.) THAT was the rift that caused Lizzie to turn cold to her step mom.
Yes, but this occurred five years before the murder and Andrew had managed to satisfay well the sisters. If in 1892 Lizzie did kill her stepmother and then her father for money, it should have happened again something concerning the money and should have had much more importance. But so far as I know, there is just no evidence to support this alleged motive of Lizzie.
I have always felt that the motive was not purely hatred for Abby or purely a desire to get Andrew's money. I think it was probably some combination of the two.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by EmmaLenora » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:10 am

Boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

I don't think that Emma left. I think that Lizzie finally realized that there is "no spoon." She no longer had to live a life under Emma's manipulation and control. This, Emma could not abide. Essentially, Emma was forced out. Not because there were any life-shattering revelations about the murder (Emma was the mastermind, in my opinion), but because she could no longer be the neck that turned Lizzie's head. And if Emma didn't have control of Lizzie, she had no use for Lizzie.

They never spoke again. I'm sure Lizzie said "Good riddance" more than once, after the fact.

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by pld0128 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:38 pm

Very interesting idea!

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Franz » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:16 am

pld0128 wrote:Very interesting idea!
Welcome, pld0128.

Yes, it's a very interesting idea.

I am thinking that could be the two things in one: Emma decided to leave (without being forced), and Lizzie, she was happy to see the leaving of her sister (without forcing her). Each of them for her own road.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by PossumPie » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:31 am

I think as the "clock ticked" and Lizzie realized that her father could die before Abby and she and her side of the family would get his money, Lizzie realized that treating Abby poorly or ignoring her all of those years may NOT have been a good idea. As for Emma, They had been close, now they were not. It wasn't Lizzie who left Emma, Emma "couldn't abide" living there anymore, implying several times it was Lizzie's choice of lifestyle. Whether that was the sexual rumors floating around, or the partying and associating with "show people" Emma gave up on Lizzie and left. From all of the information we have, no two people in that family were really close. It was almost like a rooming house where people had their own lives, and came and went without acknowledging each other.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by NancyDrew » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:38 am

Another possibility just came to me: could Emma and Lizzie have fought over money? It certainly was important to both of them. What ever happened to the house on 2nd Street? When did it sell, and to whom? Did L & E own property together? I'm wondering if the way that Lizzie managed her part of the estate realled pissed Emma off...

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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Allen » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:54 pm

NancyDrew wrote:Another possibility just came to me: could Emma and Lizzie have fought over money? It certainly was important to both of them. What ever happened to the house on 2nd Street? When did it sell, and to whom? Did L & E own property together? I'm wondering if the way that Lizzie managed her part of the estate realled pissed Emma off...
That's an interesting idea Nancydrew. It's possible that Lizzie and Emma had some very different ideas about how to spend their new found wealth. I find it interesting that Emma decided to travel to Scotland. I wonder if she was making up for the grand tour she never got.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by PossumPie » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:42 am

What do we know of Emma's life after the murders? I haven't heard much about it except as it relates to Leaving Lizabeth...
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by Allen » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:47 pm

One thing I've always found interesting is that 1906 Emma took a trip to Scotland. I have wondered why she waited to take this trip until after she left Maplecroft. She never did live alone either. Interesting also because neither did John Morse. I think they enjoyed the companionship. Lizzie did not seem to care about having anyone else in her home but her servants.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by PossumPie » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:19 pm

Allen wrote:One thing I've always found interesting is that 1906 Emma took a trip to Scotland. I have wondered why she waited to take this trip until after she left Maplecroft. She never did live alone either. Interesting also because neither did John Morse. I think they enjoyed the companionship. Lizzie did not seem to care about having anyone else in her home but her servants.
Interesting Allen. The contributing cause of death is "senility" This probably was Alzheimers, or Senile Dementia secondary to some degeneration in the brain. If she was senile, and KNEW something about the murders...Hmmm...I guess she never spilled the beans.
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Re: Why Did Emma Leave?

Post by twinsrwe » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:14 pm

I find it interesting that RETIRED is listed for her occupation. Retired from what? Am I missing something here? To my knowledge, she never worked a day in her life!
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